Get the fax before you sign, association urges

Real Estate Watch

April 06, 1997

Getting ready to remodel a kitchen or bath? Thinking of adding a family room or sun room?

Before signing on the dotted line, the Washington-based United Homeowners Association recommends that you have your home improvement contract examined by Smart Consumer Services of Arlington, Va.

Smart Consumer Services' fax-back review can "help homeowners prevent the all-too-common contractual oversight that leaves them open to problems with builders and remodelers," according to Jordan Clark, association president.

For a fee of $24.95, homeowners can fax in any questions or the ready-to-sign contract to 703-416-0258. Within 48 hours they will receive a faxed or e-mail report advising them "what could be included or omitted that would give the owner more control of the situation and, therefore, more confidence to deal with the home improvement contractor."

The Smart Consumer Services contract should not replace a review by an attorney, according to N'ann Harp, president of SCS. Harp, a former contractor, says, "unfortunately, since so few people bother to get a legal review of their agreements, our service -- done with the help of contractors and experienced consumer advocates -- really can help owners protect their interest."

For more information on SCS or helpful hints on remodeling, visit the United Homeowners Association Web site at or call 202-408-8842. Its mailing address is 1511 K St. N.W., Suite 326, Washington, D.C. 20005.

Pub Date: 4/06/97

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